Whether or not the sudden surge in developers creating HD collections of old games is a sign of a lack of imagination is yet to be seen. So far we haven’t seen too many publishers jump on the HD remix/collection bandwagon and the titles released thus far have mostly been for games people care about such as Tomb Raider or God of War. Sure, seeing a company release a HD collection may be a way for a few easy bucks to be made but in the case of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection I don’t think people really care as long as the games are good and faithful to the originals.
At times they may be convoluted but at their core the MGS franchise are some of the best stealth action games ever made. The heavy political and military tones may not be for everyone, but games like MGS2: Sons of Liberty still hold up well today – despite the sudden Raiden surprise still being a sore point of sorts. When Konami and Hideo Kojima finally revealed the MGS HD Collection in June it was a massive cause of celebration for people since it was something lots of people wanted to happen – even if they already owned both versions of MGS3.
Despite the media reveal, Konami only had MGS: Peace Walker on display at E3 which led many to wonder about the visual quality of MGS2 and MGS3. Knowing Konami and the quality control of Hideo Kojima it was assured that we would receive ports of a high quality but even the best HD collections can have some issues that could become a sore point for the core fanbase.
With Gamescom going on Konami have released some images from the MGS HD Collection and things are looking sharp so far with one minor exception: the cutscenes aren’t full-screen. In the context we’re seeing the game now everything looks good so far as the textures aren’t rough and everything has that nice smooth look one would associate with a title being upgraded to HD. But the one thing that’s worth noting is that the images presented in a letterbox aspect ratio are cutscenes, which apparently aren’t being converted to full-screen for the game. Maybe Konami and Kojima Productions wanted to retain the look presented in MGS2 & MGS3, but a lot of MGS fans are already crying about the current presentation of the cutscenes since seeing them in full-screen would’ve been a joyful sight to behold.
I’m a bit on the fence right now about the cutscene debate the MGS HD Collection is stirring up but I’m just happy that things aren’t incredibly compressed as was the case with the God of War Collection. I don’t think watching around four hours’ worth of cutscenes in a cut-off aspect ratio will be an immediate downer, but it’s just one of those things that’s like an itch, it may go away for a while but you’re still feel a slight uneasy feeling throughout the day.
The MGS HD Collection is expected to drop on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 this November.